Training for a half or full marathon can be a daunting task, especially if you have never done a long distance run before!
These are some tips that I’ve found to make a huge difference to training and made race day a much more enjoyable experience.
#1 Build up your mileage gradually
Make sure you don’t make the common mistake of increasing your mileage too fast. Build up your distances gradually.
✓ This will allow your body to get used to the extra pressures placed upon it and will help you avoid any niggling injuries along the way.
#2 Don’t just run
Cross training is really important to avoid stress injuries from overuse and using the same muscles constantly. It is also a great way to keep your training fresh and effective and will help you to build your fitness!
✓ Most forms of exercise can transition over to running and you can also make use of different classes for down time such as yoga and pilates.
#3 Lift weights
Weight training is a fantastic way to not only maintain lean muscle mass but also protect from injuries, especially for runners.
Exercises that will strengthen up the lower body will help you stay strong and healthy so that you can complete all your training safely without injury.
✓ When it comes to long distance running, injury prevention is key to both your training and also performance on race day.
#4 Get enough rest
Make sure you take enough time out for rest and recovery. Long distance running places a lot of strain on your body, and it needs ample time to recover!
✓ Getting enough sleep and eating enough food will allow complete and effective recovery to happen.
#5 Treat food as fuel
Treat the food you eat as fuel. You’ll need to to consume ample carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up on long runs.
✓ Oily fish would be a great dinner a few times a week to promote joint health!
#6 Have a training plan well ahead of time
Not planning ahead is preparing yourself to fail – this is a great saying, and a super important one to remember when it comes to training for a marathon.
✓ Allow ample time to train specifically for a marathon so that you can build up your mileage gradually.
#7 Wear comfortable runners and double layer socks
Comfortable, supportive runners are a must for long distance running, and they need to fit just right to make sure you don’t get annoying blisters that can ruin your experience on race day and in your training sessions.
✓ Double layered running socks are a runner’s best friend.
They will help prevent sore feet from friction and blisters and will also help wick excess moisture away from the feet!
#8 Train on the road not just the treadmill
Your race itself will be on a road so it’s important you prepare accordingly prior to the event. There is a huge difference between treadmill running and concrete running.
Concrete running tends to place more stress on the joints and muscles as there are more tips and hills due to the nature of its uneven surface.
✓ It is important to prepare for this as you will be more susceptible to injuries if you attempt to only utilise a treadmill for training if you event is a road race.
✓ It also prepares you mentally for your race if you are used to running in wind and rain.
#9 Track your progress
Just with all goals, you should track your progress with running too. Use a simple stop watch to keep track of how fast you compete a certain run.
✓ Heart rate monitors are great too and you can also get some really great apps for your phone to help you track your progress.
#10 Train with same drinks/supplements on race day
The last thing you want is unexpected tummy troubles on race day, so to avoid the likelihood of this, make sure that you train using the same drinks and gels that you plan to use on your race day.
This will help your tummy get used to not only the drinks or gels in general, but also while you are running which can be a totally different story on race day when you throw pre-race jitters into the mix!
Take Home Message
It is a great achievement to finish a marathon, and these simple tips will help you enjoy your race day and training as they will leave you prepared for the race ahead!